Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Photon for Space Band

Next up from the For Lee Jackson in Space comp (2012), it's...

The Photon Band, from Psychedelphia, PA!

Check out the band Facebook, or read this Art DiFuria interview. He came from the band The Lilys.

Hey, that track is pretty droney and abstract. Not at all what I was expecting - with the Photon name and album titles like Alone on the Moon and songs like "OuterSpace," I was thinkin' really Space Rock. How did this all begin?

"Easy Pop Art Research Commercial Music" from single (1995)

Early, maybe earliest, single from the band - compare & contrast. (Hint: the older stuff is the garage rock.)

All Young in the Soul by The Photon Band (1998)

So, the first full-length edging out of the garage towards some kind of drone-noise-pop. If you don't have time for the whole album embedding, there's a YouTube for "2:37 AM."

"Genius" from Oh the Sweet, Sweet Changes (2000)

That's kind of a scorcher, after the :30-second ambient intro. They try out some mellow Abbey Roadesque blooze on "Disillusion."

"OuterSpace" from It's A Lonely Planet (2002)

Seems like a turn towards a more folk-pop direction, along with "If It's A Beautiful Day." This band covered a lot of varied territory, huh?

I think the previous album Alone on the Moon (2001) was acoustic.

"Stratosphere" from Get Down Here in the Stratosphere (2007)

Official video by band leader-turned-Art History Ph.D.

Doctoral YouTube!

"Ka-Blammo" (2008) from Back Down to Earth (2008)

Good title for a rock-out. How do some bands like this seem to get more productive later on? Releasing albums like those early 7"s... Found another video-style video for "Where Did the Love Go?"

"Tilt with a Wasp" from 2011 video release (????)

Elephant 6-ish dad.Indie? Here are a few songs live in December 2011, in Kutztown!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Abzu - Absu (#6, 2011)

First off, Absu opened the #1 Live Show of 2011. I know, I can't stop talking about it because... AAAOOOOORRRUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!

"Earth Ripper/Swords & Leather/Abraxas Connexus" - live NYC, 11/11/2011

O fine, here's the studio version of album opener "Earth Ripper" - I was just excited to find a such good quality live video footage, and so relevant to my purposes!

Nice "Iron Face"-style scream intro, some old-school splintering riff-shards, lots of rapid-fire blast-beats, plenty of song segments & changes. So far, so good...

I had steeled myself to be disappointed by the new Absu record Abzu. My enjoyment of the triumphant-return-from-2001, Absu (#2 Metal, Next Ten 2009), just grew & grew over time. But apparently, Proscriptor (drums-vocals-lyrics) had lost all the new members that made that album. It's one thing to rebuild a band over 8 years, but just two? Hmmm...

This new one is the 2nd in a planned trilogy of albums, all with similar pseudo-eponymous titles. Read the story so far post to learn all that's led up to now.

"Abraxas Connexus" from Abzu (2011)

Then they released that one as a preview track (still available for download on the SPIN Best of Metal mixtape), and things were looking up already. Slightly different guitar style, but still thrashy Blackened fun - with a bit of seriousness.

"Circles of the Oath" from Abzu (2011)
[7/30, post-vacation edit: video added 1 day ago!]

Hold up - why has "Circles of the Oath" been removed from YouTube and the rest of the internet? [click link to search later] Okay, let me describe it.
Pummelling thrash, with some vocal delay at the end of each verse, then very speedy unison break, unleash the velocity, staccato tremolo-picking after 4-bar riff, then a chromatic single-notes (scale) riff, with a slower syncopated drumbeat, stop., some grindage that breaks open a bit, then back to the chromatic-syncopated part, back to pummelling thrash, velocity, some other fast playing, there's a scream, the unison break happens like 4 or 6 times, solo!, it's kinda spindly, AAAAAARGH!, demon chanting, repeat, pummelling-vocal delay section, unison break, then acoustic guitar and Mellotron outro.

Got it! Just as good as streaming audio...

"Skrying in the Spirit Vision" - live Arnhem, Netherlands, 10/29/2011

"Skrying" has some pretty meaty riffing, almost like the old-school Norwegian originators.

The next track is actually named "Ontologically, It Became Time & Space" - and it has some amazing bass drumwork from Proscriptor, as well as a really memorable guitar break/drum fill part. Unfortunately, a lot of these songs have disappeared from the web. Since I have no music to play, here's some Lyrical Magick Glossary insight:
This song [lyrics] is an argument concerning the relationship between metaphysical nihilism and the 'physical' origin of one abstract occult concept. In other words, how did time and space inaugurate? Ontology. It is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities (or planets) exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

"A Song for Ea" from Abzu (2011)

When I first heard about this, it concerned me most of all. A 14½-minute Absu song? Well, at least it had sections: (a) E-A, (b) A Myriad of Portals, (c) Third Tablet, (d) Warren Of Imhullu, (e) The Waters - The Denizens, (f) E-A (reprise).

But this whole suite rocks consistently. My concerns were all unfounded! Just set aside a quarter-hour and listen. (With lyrics if you like.) Maybe a little harsh & insane, but isn't that what you've been looking for in your life? Isn't it?! Anyway, it's not like they just do the same thing the whole time - it has some of the most clearly distinct contrasts and distinctions of all Absu. The tempo shifts, the keyboard towards the end of section (a), the way he sings "a myriad of portals," the military rhythm break, the third movement (tablet) sometimes approaching doom-sludge-djent and maybe a few other subgenres, and so on...

Surprisingly one of my favorites on the album, and a surprisingly great album overall. Sometimes I'm glad to be wrong!


Genre - Mythological Occult Metal
Official - absu.bandzoogle.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/absu
Location - Plano, TX

Review - Pitchfork
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Candlelight [CD / LP]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Top 10 Records of 1974

Wow, from just the '70s, I've done 1972, then 1973, and now 1974... Randomly!

Honestly. I'm following a pre-ordained path of randomized years, cycling through the last four decades of the 20th century. It's all for fun.

The Mars Hotel
All during the writing of this post (below), many of the rankings shifted up and down and sideways around. I don't think any of the original 10 albums were replaced, but some tectonic movements certainly did occur. What follows is a snapshot in time - 1974 certainly, but more importantly: right NOW.

#10 Diamond Dogs - David Bowie

Diamond Dogs
Full album on YouTube
"Rebel Rebel" from Diamond Dogs (1974)

Genre - Glam Rock
Official - davidbowie.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/davidbowie
Location - The U.K.

Review - Stylus Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - non-30th edition

I think this could be said for a large majority of this year's list, but Diamond Dogs takes some time & patience & effort to love. Obviously you have the hit single and the title track. But there's a lot of dark works going on - like with too much drugs, despair and the dying of Ziggy. "1984" definitely looks forward, but maybe not quite 10 years - did you know this was an Orwellian dystopia concept album? Definitely worth getting if you already like 4 or 5 other Bowie albums.

But you're probably better off starting with Ziggy itself (#6, 1972).

#9 Grateful Dead From The Mars Hotel
and Compliments of Garcia - Jerry Garcia

From the Mars Hotel
"Scarlet Begonias" from From The Mars Hotel (1974)
"Let It Rock" from Compliments (1974)

Genre - Proto-Jamband U.S. Rock 'n' Roll
Official - dead.net/
Location - San Francisco, CA

Review - The Rising Storm
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - from the band

Not a patch on 3xLP Europe '72 (#1, 1972), but one of the Dead's top-tier studio albums. Maybe not so obviously, "Scarlet Begonias" became the classic tune and live staple, with certain lyrics almost defining the Deadhead subculture ("strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand"). From the Mars Hotel has quite a few moments that could be charitably called 'cornball,' but all in a (generally) genial spirit of fun. Phil Lesh's songs are practically standouts: both "Unbroken Chain" and "Pride of Cucamonga." And Garcia contributes two more boogie-woogie numbers, and two top-notch "Jerry weepers" – as my brother & I called them all those years ago.

Compliments of... features loose and groovy covers of Chuck Berry (above), The Marvelettes (Smokey Robinson), Little Milton, Irving Berlin, Albert Washington, Van Morrison, Dr. John, The Rolling Stones, Seatrain (Peter Rowan of Old & In The Way)... and one original, "Midnight Town," which was written by Garcia's buddy John Kahn and Dead lyricist Robert Hunter – and apparently the B-side to the "Let It Rock" single.

#8 Autobahn - Kraftwerk

Full album on YouTube
"Kometenmelodie 2" from Autobahn (1974)

Genre - Motorik Experimental Synth Pop-Musik
Official - kraftwerk.com/
Location - Düsseldorf, Westphalia, FRG

Review - The Quietus
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

Possibly a little overrated – but it's definitely early and influential. The side-long title track still stands out as a unique & special snowflake, especially for a 1974 hit song. The rest continues to work out the possibilities of that German brand of experimental ambient synthesizer music. Both "Kometenmelodie 1" and "Mitternacht" are creepy horrorshow soundscapes – the former airy and tense, the latter just plain doomy. "Morgenspaziergang" is something completely different, with nature sounds and an almost hippie lilt.

p.s. Comet melody, Midnight, Morning walk...

#7 Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall - Miles Davis

Dark Magus
"Moja (Part 1)" from Dark Magus (1974)
"Nne (Part 2)" from Dark Magus (1974)

Genre - Hard Jazz Explorations
Official - milesdavis.com/
Location - currently The Bronx

Review - Magnet Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

No hippie lilt here – the dream is over. Here is some dark, dense, heavy noise-jazz. Sure, it jams – but it's really more relentless than pleasing, even when it gets quieter (not often). As mentioned for most of this year's list, this is not where almost anyone should start listening to Miles Davis. Dark Magus kinda forms a triptych of Miles' mid-'70s rock- & funk-inspired live jazz explorations, along with Agharta and Pangaea (both 1975)... although less fun. The four songs/sides are named for the Bantu-Swahili numbers 1-4: Moja, Wili, Tatu, Nne [tano, sita, saba, nane, tisa, kumi]...

Big year for Miles - with the outtakes collection Big Fun and the early-'70s catch-up Get Up with It (get up with that cover photo!), neither of which have I yet gotten around to.

#6 You - Gong

"Master Builder" from You (1974)
"The Isle of Everywhere" from You (1974)

Genre - Narrative Psych-Prog Jams
Official - planetgong.co.uk/
Location - France

Review - Ground and Sky
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

I like this guy's re-programming suggestion. Because as much as I really dig the extended psych-outs from Gong, I couldn't care less about their interplanetary pixie mythology silliness. Fortunately, the jams here are long & great, and the story-telling is kept brief (this is the last in a concept trilogy of albums). Check out the two linked above and "A Sprinkling of Clouds" for sure!

I made a pretty decent post about Gong a couple of years ago.

#5 Before the Flood - Bob Dylan/The Band

Before the Flood
"Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" [live] from Before the Flood (1974)
"Like a Rolling Stone" [live] from Before the Flood (1974)

Genre - Americana Folk-Rock
Official - bobdylan.com/
Location - New York State

Review - Rolling Stone, 1974
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

I've liked this album about as long as I've been into Bob Dylan – strangely enough, not really all that long. Reading around recently has led to a greater understanding of the moment. Dylan going through his first major falter, The Band's separate successes drying up, the novelty of the arrangements for well-known and long-standing tunes growing out of resentment at being reduced to a touring old-times revue. I guess because I was 5 years old and not really paying attention. It's a double-live with Bobby D & The Band, c'mon! Dylan's first live album and maybe only (?) really excellent one... although the MTV Unplugged DVD (1995) and many of the Bootleg Series are well worth owning.

Planet Waves was released this same year, a studio album recorded with The Band - but I've never owned it.

#4 Phaedra - Tangerine Dream

Full album on YouTube
"Sequent C" from (1974)

Genre - Space Krautronics
Official - tangerinedream-music.com/
Location - West Berlin, West Germany

Review - Rock on Vinyl
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

Almost exactly like Kraftwerk's Autobahn, this record left behind the early trials and kicked off Tangerine Dream's most fertile period of the next 5 years or so. Similarly, it's the opening title cut that blows minds for a living. Major-label debut, really? I never would have guessed. Even features a Mellotron lullaby oddy named "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares." Quite superb album of space-synth-sequencer-abstract-ambient-electro-Kraut.

#3 1969: Velvet Underground Live with Lou Reed

1969: VU Live
"Sweet Jane" from 1969: Velvet Underground Live (1974)
"Rock and Roll" from 1969: Velvet Underground Live (1974)
"What Goes On" from 1969: Velvet Underground Live (1974)

Genre - Rock and Roll
Wikipedia - wiki/Velvet_underground
Location - New York City, NY

Review - Creem, 1974 (Patti Smith)
Download - Vol. 1/Vol. 2 (Amazon) - Vol. 1/Vol. 2 (iTunes)
Purchase - Vol. 1/Vol. 2 (CD)

This 2-disc live set was not included in the VU discography post, because they only included contemporaneous releases. Lou's talking intro about the Cowboys-Eagles game is because some of these recordings come from Dallas, literally 11 days before I was born (down the road a bit)...

O yeah, the music! It's mandatory. Mostly longer, slower versions, but sometimes stepping up the energy - the experimental-songwriting axis provides the foundation for a confident, engaging live band. Once you've got all 4 of the studio albums, I'd definitely get this next - this and/or Bootleg Series, Volume 1: The Quine Tapes (2001, MP3) from the same year.

#2 Soon Over Babaluma - Can

Soon Over Babaluma
"Dizzy Dizzy" from Soon Over Babaluma (1974)
"Chain Reaction" from Soon Over Babaluma (1974)

Genre - Quasi-Ambient Trance-Jam
Official - spoonrecords.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/holgerczukay
Location - Köln, Deutschland

Review - Treble Zine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon

One might think that I enjoy the music of Can (#1, 1973 and #4, 1972), and who am I to dissuade one or all? Second non-German singer Damo Suzuki leaves the band, which could have been a serious condition. But without missing a beat, or replacing him, Can continued to twist and turn music into their own image.

What is "Dizzy Dizzy" (v. Michael Karoli) - Teutonic fiddle hyper-dub? How about "Come sta, La Luna" (v. Irmin Schmidt) - Rachmaninoff robot-prog Exotica? "Splash" is definitely proto-Zornian speed-Jazzcore lite (I think). Side 2 is massive. "Chain Reaction" floors me with its sustained burbling intensity, along with the inverted mix - wailing solo guitar backing up the foregrounded rhythm and accompaniment. I always forget to expect Karoli's wedged-in vocal bridge section, although I guess technically that's the 'hook.' What makes "Quantum Physics" post-rock? Their most free and formless since certain jams on Tago Mago (1971).

An absolute wonder to hear, this whole album!

#1 Radio City - Big Star

Radio City
"September Gurls" from Radio City (1974)
"Back of a Car" from Radio City (1974)

Genre - Power-Pop
Official - bigstarband.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/bigstarband
Location - Memphis, TN

Review - Stylus Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes (both w/ #1)
Purchase - Amazon (also w/ #1 Record)

I've definitely covered some Big Star (#2, 1972) in my day - going so far as to include as a full discography that I love. Chris Bell is out after #1 Record, so it's mainly just Alex Chilton songs from here on out.

Just listen to those two songs linked above, the major ones that everyone talks about... & rightly so. Big Star was a guitar-pop band, and both are stellar pop tunes! The record kicks off with one of my all-timers: the loopy, ramshackle, staggering funk of "O My Soul." I'll have to restrain myself, because they all seem pretty indispensible to me. Most excellent rockers include "She's A Mover" and "Mod Lang." Slow down easy with "Daisy Glaze," "What's Going Ahn" and "I'm in Love with a Girl." There's such a feel to the whole album, a high-wire balancing act between pretty popcraft and edgy rock-n-roll. That would topple before their next (last) record, but for now the equilibrium is damn near perfect.

A 33⅓ audio book, what?! "For rock snobs, the more obscure your favorite band, the better..." Okay, sure. Big Star is nowhere near as obscure as they used to be, nor as well-known as they should be. I'd be very happy if they switched cultural prominence with say, ELO.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Invisible invisivni Invisible

In my coverage of South American bands, I really haven't been fair to Argentina. I've only ever covered one band: the fantastic Go-Neko! While Chile has gotten three, whole, posts... So here's an Argentine band to compensate.

Invisible LP
Invisible played some heavy progressive rock en Español, out of Buenos Aires from 1973-1977. First let's get to the singles.

"La llave del mandala" (The Key to the Mandala), 1974 single

That's actually their 2nd single, but I like it better anyway. Definitely in the proto-hard rock realm of yer Deep Purple's and such.

"Estado de coma" (Coma), 1974 single

[***NSFW VIDEO***] Similarly, but moreso...

Invisible disco completo (1974)

The album sounds quite different than the harder singles - more often proggy & jazzy. And I think they made the right call. Not sure if their heavy boogie-rocking would carry over through a whole LP. Here's a cleaned-up translation from the YouTube description...

Note from Rolling Stone's 100 best albums of rock bands:
After the end of Pescado Rabioso [Rabid Fish] in late 1973, [Luis Alberto] Spinetta formed Invisible with Pomo [Lorenzo] and Machi Rufino Lorenzo (the former from Pappo's Blues), and the following year released his debut LP, with the drawing "Puddle" by M.C. Escher, on the cover. Complex music (composed rhythmic, jazz harmonies) and lyrics influenced by Surrealism and the French Symbolists characterized this first group stage, which shows Spinetta's expansive creativity that would not fit on one record, as evidenced by three singles appearing in the same year: "La llave del mandala", "Elementales leches" and "Viejos ratones del tiempo."

La llave del mandala
These additional tunes all end up as bonus tracks in various places, but my favorite bonus so far is the "Mandala" B-side.

"Lo que nos ocupa es la conciencia, esa abuela que regula el mundo" (What concerns us is the consciousness, that grandmother that regulates the world), 1974 b-side

RAWK!! Now I want to get that 7" single on vinyl! And possibly the full-length as well...

Here's some English-language band info (& en Español). By the way, I know there are more than 2 countries in South America.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ye olde MTV memory Shoppe

Like many kids my age, I watched a lot of television before I could drive. And since my pre-licensed days coincided with the early-'80s, that meant that I watched a lot of Mtv (the "M" once stood for 'music').

MTV moon landing
So this will be a round-up of what I remember liking about early MTV. Before I discovered punk rock, I basically liked the music played on the channel - such as my Top 40 Top 40 Songs of 1982. I definitely enjoyed the free-format where you never knew what to expect next. Except for a few actual shows that I remember being regularly scheduled.

"Punks & Poseurs: A Journey into the L.A. Underground" (1985)

My main weekly favorite was the "Saturday Night Concert" - check out the intro. I don't remember Punks & Poseurs, but I'm really glad that it exists! The Dickies, GBH, Plain Wrap, The Breakouts, Raw power... Wild.

Metal was much more common. I do remember the AC/DC show (with this intro), but I think GnR 1988 was quite a bit after my time. In fact, I'm surprised they were still showing regular live shows that late (might've been a special though).

"Moving in Stereo" live in Houston, 1984

But the one they showed all the time was The Cars at The Summit (Houston TX, 1984). I remember distinctly because it was originally pretty cool to see a show filmed locally, but the charm was lost after the same concert reappeared every third weekend.

I also found some evidence of a Pretenders show.

"Race of Slaves" by Talmadge D'amour (1983)

Another show I watched pretty regularly was "Basement Tapes," which was a video competition between unsigned local acts' submissions. It always featured some hilarious terribleness and some occasional hidden gems. Honestly, I don't remember many details.

I think there was some audience voting, with some kind of prize either for each show's winner or eventually. Here's someone's blog post about the show. Actually, the first video there includes the show intro, which explains a bit... Monthly finalists!!
The Young Invaders - "Play It Cool"
Messendger (from Tifton, GA)
Rail (eventual winner?) - "Hello"
Joe Salvo - maybe this guy?
Slyder (from Miami, FL) - on MySpace
Did Screen Test win the final slot? I have to know...
nooooo, Friday wins!

"Paranoid" by Black Sabbath (Mtv Closet Classic, 1972)

At first, "Mtv Closet Classics" were really just individual videos for music from before the MTV era - with a special video-tag to make sure no-one confused it with modern music. I mainly remember Sabbath, but this 1986 VHS tracklist will give you a general idea.

Also, apparently by 1987, they had an actual show. Not sure if I was onboard for that, because I just remember surprise treats in the free-form.

Then of course, there was "120 Minutes" (1986-2000). I don't remember JJ Jackson hosting, but I do remember Alan Hunter (still one of the original VJ's) and Kevin Seal - then a bit later, series creator Dave Kendall.

Not too much video evidence of the early days I'm talking about, and I can't find the hilarious Dave Kendall/Jack Officers SXSW interview (or maybe BHS), so here's Ween in 1995.

Good times...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Check In with The Caretaker

I've been looking for certain tunes to share from the Ad Hoc comp which was a reward for contributing to their Kickstarter project. We'll see...

Theoretically pure
But I did notice one from The Caretaker (#3 Drone/Ambient, 2009) was now streamable on Bandcamp:

I don't want to get too into the stuff I'll eventually cover for the #10 of 2011 write-ups.

"Stardust" from We'll all go riding on a rainbow (2003)

So how about this 1-month-old video for a 9-year-old tune. Wow, I actually don't have that album... wonder why. Only ₤5 at The Caretaker Bandcamp! Good offers on the older records - look: only ₤6 for the 72-track, 6xCD Theoretically pure anterograde amnesia (which was #1 Drone/Ambient, 2005)!!

Looks like there's a few there that I could pick up. I really highly recommend Persistent repetition of phrases (2009) - missing out on the vinyl release for that's a darn shame... for me.

So, I haven't been able to find "All Tangled Up" from Woodsman (#2, 2011) either. Until I did.

Woodsman - Live at Safe // Sound by woodsmanman

It's a live version, but all 4 of those March 2012 tracks are downloadable! There's also a January 2012 live recording of "Oneina" on Woodsman's Soundcloud.

"The Light" from Dagger Paths EP (2010)

Looks like Forest Swords' (#21, 2010) contribution "Erroa" was featured on Arthur Radio Transmission #14 (also back in 2010).

Strangely enough, at one point I had a planned overview of Transmission #13 from one week before. But I could just never make the post work right. I'd suggest downloading both, and possibly others. It was this Altered Zones post that kept haunting me into attempting the #13 article.

Altered Zones, Ad Hoc... Full circle!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spacerock Con 2012

Whoa. Look what I just found at Aural Innovations!!


SpaceRockCon 2012
Might have to check out what Cullman, AL, is all about. But for now, let's stick with the music. I don't think I've heard of a single one of these performers, and we're talking Space Music from the American Deep South. Should be an adventure...

Unus Mundus - raw psychedelic space jams from from Athens, GA. As with many of these groups, it took awhile to track down any leads - and some I never found anything. These guys have the Bandcamp (bio + 2 albums), Facebook (active), Soundcloud (with some free downloads), MySpace, and some Aural Innovations reviews.

"Babblepoint" from Echobeast EP (2005)

Echobeast - Atlantean psych-guitar jams (that's Atlanta, GA, mind). They've got Cosmic Jam Live from Dec 2011, and a homemade video for "Ballroom." First band I know to use The Internet Archive for their vids, but they also have the Echobeast EP (The Movie) available for download. Mainly I've found their MySpace page and a YouTube channel.

Even more recent song as SCR promo: "Venus Ride."

"Kulisse" by Scattered Planets (2003)

Scattered Planets - "Psycho-ambient space rock from another dimension" (Philadelphia). They have an old-school website, an older MySpace page, and a more active Facebook feed. Let's see... a live set playlist, and their own YouTube channel. Yup.

They've had a coupla reviews in Aural Innovations, plus this interview.

The Subliminator at Spacerockcon (2006)

Seems like an interesting dude, from Atlanta too. Got quite a few tracks on his Soundcloud page, including the newest one "Your Monkey Needs Acupuncture" (2012). Label Bandcamp is your best bet for hearing hearing all of Recalibrated (2005) and of Rake (2008).

Likewise reviewed by Aural Innovations.

One Eyed Bishops - very possibly the only band ever to cover both the Velvet Underground and Uriah Heep - at the same show no less! Hailing from Columbus, NJ. Interesting historical official website. The Bishops folks also double up as the Hawkwind cover band Sloterdijk (Dutch name due to Holland origins).

PXL - This?? Maybe not...

"Cluck" from Quadsteak (2011)

The Maple Key - from Cullman, AL itself! This might also be them playing live, but I haven't been able to nail down too many details. Progressive metal, yeah?

Revealation X - Wait. Not the Christian nü-metal-emo band?! I might not be able to pass that up.

"Maafkan Aku" from... 2011?

Jellyfish - Kind doubt it's either the '90s band, or the Visual Kei group above... but maybe? If the Christian gothbangers & Indonesian boy-band are both playing, I will be there.

so many posters!!
Nixon for Xmas - Literally no idea... That is, until I found this video while investigating Lysteria (below): "Jamming with Nixon," which is just generally a great name for a song.

"Star Harvesters" from Leaving the Earth Behind (2008)

Vessels of the Divine - they're "an ambient doom metal band from Cullman, Alabama. Our influences..." Then the cached preview text gets cut off!

Title track from "Leaving the Earth Behind" (2009). There's a MySpace page out there; also on Facebook.

Ooooh, you can still download Eternal Resonance (2010) for free. Also, maybe some connection to Slow Southern Steel doc (2012?) - reviewed.

"Burn" from YouTube (2012)

Brother Cloud & The Scarecrow - more doom (folk) from Cullman! I really like that one, I think the most of any bands so far. And with tags like Neurosis, Tribes of Neurot, Steve von Till and Rwake, you can't go wrong. 2 more: "No Souls" and "Dig It on the Hill." (Those together seem like a single, if only conceptually...) We got Facebook and MySpace too.

05 Distant Sunset by Dreamwind

Dreamwind - "electronic ambient band from Birmingham, Alabama." Mellow new-age drift... Stream & download samples from their official site.

"Holy Ground" - Directed & edited by Allen Welty-Green

This guy's name has come up quite a few places I've been looking around. Here's your portal into that strange world.

"Perelendra" by Hart Deer

Hart Deer / Dark Night of the Soul will be performing. After looking around a bit, I'm not sure what to think. I believe... that I might be missing something. I mean... I just don't... Anyway, here's his website.

Oasirubric - electronic-techno from Rocket City FurMeet 2012! (I will spare you the details.)

Space rock con
From this other poster and the con's Facebook, here are some more possible performers:

"Black Death" live at JC Arena, Cullman, AL (02/25/2012)

Lysteria - these metal guys? I have to assume: Cullman! Official website / Facebook / YouTube channel / MySpace...

"Suns of Forlorn" live in... concert? (2012)?

Sad Luck Dame - roots indie from north Alabama. Official / Facebook / YouTube.

Bonejackal - instrumental psychedelic Sabbath-y space classic-rock, it would appear. I'm surprised we haven't seen more local bands with Bandcamp. And of course both Facebook and MySpace. They also have some live videos on YouTube.

"Giger's Locomotive" video (2006)

High Pink Clouds - really pretty cool ambient electronicals outta Louisiana or maybe Jackson, Mississippi. There's another video for a more recent song, "Indigo Noise" (2011). Lots more that I haven't explored on their YouTube channel.

You can read more, stream & download songs over at the official site, and there's always Facebook, and MySpace, aaannd... no Bandcamp, but an Amazon micro-shop!

Viet-Zen - it is a mystery...

Revelation XNow I just have to verify that it's the famous Indonesian Jellyfish and the apocalyptic Revelation X of St. John of Patmos, make some travel reservations, and get my Space Rock (c)On!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tarot Deck Suisserock

I'm really liking this "full album" thing on YouTube (made possible by the lifting of the 10-min limit on videos). Not sure how long it will last.

Tarot Disc 1, by Walter Wegmüller (1973)

So, here's all of Tarot, one of Julian Cope's Top 50 Albums from his book Krautrocksampler (1995). Music by the Ash Ra Tempel / Cosmic Jokers contingent (#6, 1973). The singer was some sort of Swiss hippie prophet or something like that.

Tarot Disc 2, by Walter Wegmüller (1973)

Each track has a Tarot card theme (in German), and seer Walter Wegmüller even designed a complete psychedelic Tarot deck to go with the album. Check out some of his art!

Okay, I'm off now - blog's on auto-pilot from here on...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stone Breath Jackson

Gradually moving through the artists/tracks from the Lee Jackson in Space benefit compilation (2012).

The Long Lost Friend: A Patchwork
Song #4 is by Stone Breath - also maybe known as Breathe Stone, Crow Tongue, Black Happy Day, The Spectral Light & Moonshine Firefly Snakeoil Jamboree, etc...

The Astral Research department indicates they're from Maryland (and/or Pennsylvania), active since circa 1995 timeframe. I definitely get the sense of a loose collective that works together, then takes a break, then reunites again. I believe these are: an interview, a Facebook page and a MySpace link, respectively.

Songs of Moonlight and Rain (1997) by Stone Breath

Appears to be the first ever release on the Camera Obscura label (CAM 001CD). Sounds like some mellow, ancient psych-folk - back to the roots, the deep gnarled physical roots in the earth. Someone(s) thought enough of these tunes to put them up special: "Perched Upon the Temple Bell, the Butterfly Sleeps" and "Willowisp."

"The Rainbow Gilded Leaves of Autumn" from A Silver Thread to Weave the Seasons (1998)

There is a 2008 expanded 2xCD edition, with bonus "acid-forest-drone-mantra-folk glory." Mr. SQW Bussy has a little collection of songs up, but I'm just going to highlight "My Heart Is an Acorn Buried in the Black Earth" here.

"Wasp-Sting, Thorn, and Arrowhead" from The Silver Skein Unwound (2003)

More string pluckings and haunting vocals. I get the impression that the available videos are from their 'bigger' albums, and that they have tons of smaller-run releases that you'd have to dig for. Couple o' more from here: "Bless the Lily, Bless the Rose" and the "Last Lost Love Song."

I'm assuming that explains the gap from 2003-2011, despite featured releases such as comeback album The Shepherdess and the Bone-White Bird (with The Forest Beggars, 2009), the Knotwork rarities collection (2008), plus a few CDr's here & there.

"Scorpion Tears" from The Ætheric Lamp (2011)

Dark Holler Arts calls it "expansive Middle Eastern influenced sounds ... Intricate and driving - half composed and half improvised - tense and intense - beautiful and terrifying." Also contains "The Coming Fires" if'n yer so inclined.

"In the Garden of Ghostflowers" from Twist of Thorn (2012)

That cassette (also with "Blood Winter") is one of two so far for 2012.

The other is The Night Birds Psalm ...and Other Songs We Sung Beneath the Silver Web, which "is the third chapter in Stone Breath’s silver thread (following 1998’s A Silver Thread to Weave the Seasons and 2001’s The Silver Skein Unwound)." I found this 5/5 review - from the same website that did the interview linked way up there. Full circle!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Preview the New Maserati

Via Maserati Facebook...

"The Eliminator" from Maserati VII (2012)

Forthcoming album from Maserati (#1 of 2010, #2 of 2007)! Download the .mp3 from Pitchfork.

Album out 10/2 on Temporary Residence Ltd. Cover art by Bruno Borges.

Looks good, sounds good!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bandcamp in Deep Space

Sorry to say, but posting's going to be slightly slower over the next couple of weeks. And everything might not always make it to Facebook in a timely manner. But I am trying to set up a plan where I [clear out some malingering drafts] provide fascinating news & mind-blowing insights. Maybe more short-form posts like this...

Deep Space
Now is the time for the Deep Space Bandcamp and stuff.

First there is one Free Song on the Bandcamp:

You know about Deep Space?
Deep Space was created in the wee hours of acid trips and seances within the desert lands of Austin TX.

A few more streaming over on SoundCloud too.

And if you wait long enough, more music will come to you. This draft has apparently been sitting around since before 20 May. "Ocean Tide" is that new, with promises of a "Full EP coming soon..."

Just found some recent live footage, courtesy of the band's own Facebook.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! An earlier FB post also points me to yet another tune on Bandcamp, this time as part of the Austin Psychedelic Light & Sound comp (2012). Apparently there are physical copies at the live events, but I don't see any way to order one.

Hey, that was more than I expected to have!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kickstart the Devolution

Fundraising over at Kickstarter for an official Devo documentary, titled Are We Not Men? Once again, via BoingBoing...

Duty Now For The Future
They've met their goal, but don't you want the best possible Devo doc? Check it out so far:

I'd never before heard about the role that the Kent State shootings had on Devo's formation. I definitely want to get this made.

O yeah, here are some cool Devo vids.

"Through Being Cool" from New Traditionalists (1981)


"Freedom Of Choice" from Freedom Of Choice (1980)


From the same album as major Mtv hit "Whip It" and "Girl U Want."

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" from Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978)